Wolf Creek hosts The Mens Amateur

Written by Kevin Smith

Central Alberta will be the central focus for men’s golf in our province the third week in July. Wolf Creek Golf Resort will host the 2019 Sun Life Financial Alberta Mens Amateur Championship. The popular 36-hole golf resort just off the QE II north of Red Deer is a fitting spot to test the top male amateur golfers in the province.

“It’s good to get a big showcase event like the Men’s Amateur back here, that’s for certain.” said Aaron Miller, Wolf Creek’s Head Professional. “We’re excited to have it on The Links course. It’s a perfect tournament venue.”

In 2014 Airdrie’s Riley Fleming won the Alberta Open on the newer Links Course that will be used for this tournament. The 25-year-old professional says the amateurs in this year’s field should enjoy competing on the course, especially if you’re a bomber.

“I love the new course. I think it’s awesome.” said Fleming. “I think it’s a great test, it probably suits someone that can bomb it a bit more. The front nine is definitely a little tighter with some elevation changes and the back nine is just a really big golf course where you can get aggressive and that’s why I liked it so much.”

Fleming had won the rain shortened Alberta Open the year before at RedTail Landing Golf Club in Edmonton but said defending his title especially in commanding fashion validated his 2013 victory and made The Links Course at Wolf Creek one of his favourite tournament tracks in Alberta.  “The greens are really true which is typical of a links course,” Fleming raved. “The greens are a little different, but I really like them.”

The course has more eagle and birdie opportunities on the back nine and lends itself to the type of late round drama you’d want at a provincial championship. Don’t be surprised if players surge up the leaderboard between holes 10 and 15 and if the 18th hole plays down wind a birdie finish is very possible.

“We are known to be a bit of a tougher golf course but we don’t want to see the winning score be nine over par or something.” said Miller. “We look forward to seeing the most talented players in the province come out and put up some numbers and test all the shot making abilities on that course. It’s going to make you play a lot of shots that maybe you’re not comfortable with and it really exposes all parts of your game.”

The town of Ponoka and cities of Lacombe and Red Deer are proud to showcase the course and area to the tournament’s competitors. In late May, Wolf Creek also hosted the Future Links Western Canadian Junior Championship so course set-up is already underway, but don’t expect anything too manufactured.

“Being a links-style golf course we might leave that to Mother Nature and let her dictate how firm or soft the course will be,” said Miller, who is well aware the wind will have the biggest impact on scoring. “We will definitely not force it in any direction; we won’t try to dry out a fairway or try to make the rough super thick. We’ll let Mother Nature dictate it, that’s for sure.”

Mid-July in the middle of Alberta,  we will find out if the top amateurs in the province discover the same love for Wolf Creek that Riley Fleming still has a half decade after winning there.

Wolf Creek Hosts the Mens Amateur

This article was originally published in the 2019 edition of The Alberta Golfer Magazine. To view the full magazine, click here.